Your Solar Panels Are Facing the Wrong Way

Conventional wisdom says that panels should be installed facing south to get the most solar exposure (in the northern hemisphere). South-facing panels create the most power in the morning and mid-day, but peak demand for electricity typically occurs in the late afternoon. Because of that, a number of solar experts have begun to say that solar panels should really be installed facing west in order to take advantage of the demand cycle on a power grid. By rotating panels to…

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Books for Change: Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook – 14th Edition

Here is an updated book on solar living we look forward to receiving. Real Good Solar Living Sourcebook: Your Complete Guide to Living Beyond the Grid with Renewable Energy Technologies and Sustainable Living 14th Edition – Revised and Updated by John Schaeffer The 14th edition of Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook is now available. This comes thanks to New Society Publishers. We have featured other books from them. This top-selling guide by John Schaeffer has been in publication 1982. Now in its…

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Solar City Offering Financing Programs for Home Solar

Good news on solar financing came for those wanting to convert their electrical energy supply to solar panels, but have been road-blocked by affordability issues. Solar City has announced it will start offering homeowners a new form of financing for their home solar system called MyPower. This financing method will function like a hybrid between a lease and a power purchase agreement (PPA). Here’s how it is spelled out, according to Spross: “Under a lease, the solar system is installed…

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This Solar Cell Stores Its Own Power Like a Battery

This solar cell you see magnified in these pictures is unlike any other that’s come before it- because it stores power. This patent-pending device, invented at The Ohio State University, is the world’s first solar battery. This intention has plenty of potential to be a disruptive factor for the renewable energy industry. In the October 3, 2014 issue of the journal Nature Communications, the researchers report that they’ve succeeded in combining a battery and a solar cell into one hybrid…

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Links Leading to Today’s Solar Revolution

This miniseries on the solar revolution is based on John Perlin’s Book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy. We commence with the discovery of photosensitivity. Read this , then read his excellent book. Part 1 – The Discovery of the Photosensitivity of Selenium When my book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy, first came out several experts criticized me for not recognizing Edmund Becquerel as the direct link to the solar cells in use today. When…

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John Perlin Solar Energy History Series: Part III

I am pleased to post this third in a series of SOLAR ENERGY history articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy throughout the millennia — here the solar heat trap. Third Major Breakthrough – Glass as a Solar Heat Trap Vitruvius, the preeminent architect of ancient Rome, saw Greek solar houses while a military engineer stationed in Greece. He reiterated what he had seen as advice…

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NREL Power Lunch Lecture Series Features John Perlin

For those individuals able to attend, I highly recommend this NREL Power Lunch lecture, featuring John Perlin, author of “Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy.” October 1 lecture by John Perlin, author, lecturer, consultant — solar energy & forest preservation John Perlin will present a lecture on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, which covers the development of all solar technologies, beginning with the ancient Chinese, Greeks and Romans who designed…

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UChicago-Argonne National Lab Team Improves Solar Cell Efficiency

Great research on solar cell efficiency improvements continues to be reported, this time from scientists in the University of Chicago’s chemistry department, the Institute for Molecular Engineering, and Argonne National Laboratory. We offer our highest praise to support the evolution of the renewable energy industry, which in turn, will boost better products for green building. New light has been shed on solar power generation using devices made with polymers, thanks to a collaboration between scientists in the University of Chicago’s chemistry…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part II

I am pleased to post this second in a series of solar energy articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia. Second Major Breakthrough – Solar Architecture and Solar Cities The second major breakthrough in solar occurred when the Chinese began to apply their knowledge of the changing position of the sun during the year, as discussed in the…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part I

I am pleased to introduce this series of articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, “Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy.” Perlin will discuss the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia.   First Major Breakthrough – Learning where the sun is throughout the year No one seems to know where the sun is these days. Ask just about anyone and they’ll say it rises in the east and sets in the west the year round.…

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Treehouse in Memorial City, Both are More than a Name Suggests

As cities re-develop and re-define themselves in new urban and sustainable ways, mixed-used mini-cities are becoming popular oasises in the midst of traditional metropolitan areas. In Houston, Texas, one of such, ‘city-with-in-a-city’ exists and is called Memorial City. It is 7.6 million SF of a place that intertwines the living, shopping, working and play parts of its population’s lives. Memorial City is, “A privately-held real estate investment, development and management company headquarters.” Part of that headquarters is a 14,700 SF,…

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Yingli Solar

Composite Material Reduces Cost of Solar Panels

Yingli Green Energy, the largest vertically integrated photovoltaic module manufacturer in the world, known as “Yingli Solar,” announced that they have successfully completed trial production of monocrystalline ingots for solar panels using new material technology. Instead of using traditional graphite crucibles when pulling monocrystalline ingots, Yingli experimented with crucibles made from a carbon-carbon (C-C) composite material. Yingli’s initial estimates suggest that the new material could reduce manufacturing costs for solar panels by nearly 0.01 USD per watt. CivicSolar defines monocrystalline silicon as…

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Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles Now Available in Delaware & Hawaii

We are happy to report the Dow line of solar shingles is now available in two more states. Dow Solar announced today that the availability of DOW POWERHOUSE Solar Shingles, an award-winning residential solar roofing system, is expanding to Delaware and Hawaii. Delaware and Hawaii are among the smaller states in the nation, both in population and geography. But in the solar industry, the two states rank in the top ten, which drew Dow Solar’s attention in determining the next…

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Solar power panels on roofs of buildings

Programs Make Affordable Solar Power Available to Low-Income Neighborhoods

Many low-income neighborhoods have not joined the solar power revolution because of the perceived high initial cost of solar. These are the very areas that could most benefit from lowered utility bills. That could be changing, however, as companies and states are offering programs designed to assist these neighborhoods in getting affordable solar power. Developers Partner With Residents for Affordable Solar Power In the Baltimore Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood, developers of a new $250 million mixed-use building are working with residents to…

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Solar Saga Continues: The Koch Brothers Weren’t the First to Try Stopping Solar

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this solar history contribution about others who long ago tried to end one solar entrepreneur’s life. The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. He will be a featured speaker at Intersolar. At this event, he will sign copies of his book. The Atacama Desert in northern Chile well deserves its reputation as the American Sahara. But when, in 1870, news spread of a “mountain…

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Mexico’s Largest Rooftop Solar Array Features SolarWorld Solar Panels with Racking System Design

An audio-headset factory in Tijuana, Mexico, is now home to the largest, privately owned roof-mounted solar installation in all of Latin America. The 1.16-megawatt system features solar panels, racking and system engineering fromSolarWorld, the largest solar manufacturer in the Americas for nearly 40 years.producer of audio communications headphones. The project is the second of SolarWorld solar panels at a Plantronics facility. In 2011, the headset manufacturer installed 608 kilowatts of roof-mounted and carport-mounted solar arrays at its headquarters in Santa…

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Solar Power Gardens Allow Those Without Roof Access to Go Solar

A new arrangement for getting solar power, called a solar power garden, is popping up in a few states, such as Massachusetts and Colorado, and it involves customers buying in to a solar array at another location, and receiving credit for the power their panels produce. It is especially popular with apartment dwellers and those who have limited roof area and solar exposure. For developers, such shared or community solar arrays create a new market from the estimated 85 percent…

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